{Healthy Holidays} Butternut Squash and Kale Stuffed Mushrooms with Harissa and Fontina

Maybe I’m being overly ambitious. I mean, how many recipes can I demonstrate in one 6-minute segment on ABC’s AM Northwest? I’m going for three. Chaos may ensue….

The first installment in my quest to provide some healthy, easy (and tasty) ideas for holiday party appetizers started with this recipe for Hard Cider and Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatballs. Up next? How about eating your veggies–in the form of a earthy, hearty and savory little bite?

Stuffed mushrooms are the quintessential hors d’oeuvres, since they are a great way to get lots of flavors and textures in one tasty bite. This version relies on veggies and bold flavors to deliver the goods—sans the bread, meat, and loads of cheese that typically adorn a stuffed mushroom. And trust me, once you pop one of these into your face, you’ll never look back to the old-school mushrooms of your youth.

What I love about these:

  • They’re healthy (duh)
  • They’re slightly smoky with a hint of heat (thank you, harissa)
  • They’re hearty and light at the same time
  • They’re vegetarian and gluten free
  • They seem way more indulgent than they really are!
  • They can be prepared a day ahead! just stuff them, store them in an airtight container. Arrange them on the baking sheet and top with the cheese and bake the day of the party

{Healthy Holidays} Butternut Squash and Kale Stuffed Mushrooms with Harissa and Fontina

servings: about 15-18 pieces | time: about an hour


18 medium button mushrooms, stems removed and chopped (if you can buy in bulk–great! this will allow you to pick uniform sizes)

2 TBSP. olive oil

1 cup butternut squash, chopped into tiny dice

1/4 cup chopped white onion

1 large clove garlic, chopped

2 tsp. harissa spice blend

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 cup chopped kale

1/4 cup white wine

2 TBSP. chopped fresh parsley

3 TBSP. toasted pine nuts

1/3 cup shredded fontina cheese


Preheat oven to 350. Line a large rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy sauce pan or Dutch oven
  2. Add the squash and saute for 5 minutes
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the harissa, salt and pepper and chopped mushroom stems and saute until the mixture becomes fragrant (2-3 minutes)
  5. Add the kale and white wine and saute for 5-7 minutes, until the kale becomes tender and all of the wine has been absorbed
  6. Add the toasted pine nuts
  7. Fill each mushroom and arrange on baking sheet. Top with a light sprinkle of the grated fontina and bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown at the edges